Another observation I make every year on my turf: While every whitetail in the area has shed its velvet by September 15, mule deer, and particularly bigger bucks, often stay in full velvet through the first week in October. I killed a mature 10-point a few years ago on October 7. His rack was still in perfect, soft velvet. Mule deer in my part of the world seem to hold their velvet longer than anywhere I’ve ever heard of. Of course, my local mule deer also shed their antlers as late as anywhere I know. Most bucks drop their antlers in February and March, but I’ve seen a few with racks in spring turkey season in April! So it only makes sense that because they shed their antlers late, and get a late start growing next year’s rack, they would stay in velvet longer.